What we now call Black Friday can be traced back to 1621 when native Indians received discount white goods, TVs and kitchen appliances from the first American settlers. The goods symbolised the setters’ whiteness and the bellicose scramble to procure them evoked the centuries of imperial bloodlust that would soon follow the conquest.
It’s little known that Black Friday was observed by different states on different days until 1863 when a Presidential Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln fixed the date as the fourth Friday of every November. It was hoped that after the divisiveness of the Civil War the event would draw Americans together around their two principal interests: violence and consumerism.
In modern times the event has gone from strength to strength. It is now enshrined in our shared culture as a time when families come together and do what’s most important to them with those they love most.